General Motors (GM) has unveiled a flying version of its Cadillac that is autonomous and can take off and land vertically.
The concept vehicle, which looks like a combination between a drone and a helicopter, can carry single passengers and travel at around 55 miles per hour. While the vehicle will probably not be entering production anytime soon, if ever, it signals GM’s design intentions for the years ahead.
The flying Cadillac features a 90kW motor, a GM Ultium battery pack and an ultra-lightweight body with four pairs of rotors.
Michael Simcoe, GM’s vice president of global design, said it was the company’s “first foray into aerial mobility” describing it as “the Cadillac of urban air mobility”, adding that, “VTOL is key to GM’s vision for a multimodal future”.
The venerable auto-manufacturer – which unveiled a new corporate logo earlier this week, designed to reinforce its commitment to an electric future – also demonstrated an egg-shaped autonomous vehicle that featured many of the leather and fur trimmings for which the Cadillac brand is known.
While flying cars have long been considered an impossible dream reserved for outlandish visions of the future, interest in such vehicles has been heating up in recent years.
German start-up Lilium has spent the last four years attracting investors for its flying car concept. It has already developed a prototype that it successfully tested at the end of 2019.
Ride-hailing firm Uber has also been working on flying taxis for some time as a way to tackle congestion. In December, the firm decided to sell this division to a secretive start-up called Joby Aviation in an attempt to expunge its unprofitable projects.